Presbyterian Church elects spiritual leader who will encourage young Church leadership

Media release:

29 September 2021

The Right Rev Hamish Galloway of Christchurch is the new Moderator, or elected spiritual leader, of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. He will begin his two-year term from the evening of Wednesday 29 September 2021. 

Hamish was installed in an online service - due to Covid-19 restrictions the Presbyterian Church’s General Assembly is being held in an online format for the first time this year, from 29-30 September 2021. Hamish was to be installed as Moderator at St Andrew's College, Christchurch, where he served for 20 years, as the school was to host the General Assembly. 

Hamish is the minister of Cashmere Presbyterian Church in Christchurch. 

Born in Timaru, Hamish has a Bachelor of Laws from University of Canterbury, and worked as a law clerk and solicitor in Christchurch. He has a Master of Business Studies from Massey University. He studied at the Presbyterian Theological Hall 1981-1983, and then ministered at a number of churches: St Stephens Presbyterian Church, Timaru 1983-1988; Hope Presbyterian Church, Christchurch 2011-2020; and Cashmere Presbyterian 2020 to present. 

During his term as Moderator, Hamish will focus on helping to realise a Presbyterian Church where all generations are empowered. He will share a vision whereby older Presbyterians are empowered to effectively connect with the younger generation so that they in turn are empowered in their faith, life and impact in our nation.  

“We recognise our Church is aging and that our elders can encourage and empower our younger generations into leadership; not only within our Church but within our communities and country. We have wonderful young adult leaders coming forward in our churches and Church schools who care passionately about our country and the wider world - they will work hard for positive change,” Hamish says. 

Hamish has long been a champion for the right support and encouragement to help youth find their own path to faith, service and leadership. At St Andrew's College, Christchurch, he was Head of Religious Education and chaplain, and then Head of Pastoral Care and chaplain from 1989 to 2010.  

To the role of Moderator, Hamish brings experience gained overseas: stints as minister at Lake Cowichan United Church, Vancouver Island; chaplain at Scots College, Sydney, and minister at Bromley Methodist Church, London. 

He has served the Presbyterian Church in a variety of roles: he was Moderator of the Christchurch Presbytery, clerk of the South Canterbury Presbytery, twice on the Council of Assembly, Co-convenor of the Facilitation Committee, member of the Doctrine Committee, and 2004 General Assembly co-ordinator. 

Hamish is married to Anne. They have three adult children and three grandchildren. 

Notes to the reporter: 

  • The Right Rev Hamish Galloway will be installed as Moderator at the beginning of the General Assembly 2021, at Hope Presbyterian, Christchurch, 7pm 29 September 2021.  
  • The service usually involves the transfer of a ceremonial cloak (Te Korowai Tapu) and the laying on of hands by past Moderators before the gathered Commissioners of the Assembly. The installation is usually preceded by a powhiri. Due to Covid alert level restrictions the service is online and some aspects will be different.  
  • The Presbyterian Church’s General Assembly is usually held in person every two years and over a five day period, however, due to Covid-19 restrictions the Assembly is being held in a shortened online format 29-30 September 2021. The approximately 250 Commissioners will watch and participate online. 
  • Hamish will be Moderator of the Presbyterian Church until the 2023 General Assembly.